Publisher: Ballentine Books
Source: NetGalley and Publisher for review
From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Language of Flowers comes her much-anticipated new novel about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds.
For fourteen years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now fifteen, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life.
Navigating this new terrain is challenging for Letty, especially as Luna desperately misses her grandparents and Alex, who is falling in love with a classmate, is unwilling to give his mother a chance. Letty comes up with a plan to help the family escape the dangerous neighborhood and heartbreaking injustice that have marked their lives, but one wrong move could jeopardize everything she’s worked for and her family’s fragile hopes for the future.
Vanessa Diffenbaugh blends gorgeous prose with compelling themes of motherhood, undocumented immigration, and the American Dream in a powerful and prescient story about family.My thoughts:
I don't read too many contemporaries, and when I do I often look for those with a specific cultural perspective or something to do with creativity (art, music, etc). This one had both. While the art aspect was really more in the background it did give a constant in which the characters revolved. The art was Letty's father's feather work which he turned into artwork mosaics. This isn't a story about art, but about finding one's own way through the confines and expressions of our past and our parent's past.
The cultural aspect was one of illegal immigration. While people often have strong opinions on this subject, you rarely hear it with any real knowledge of the situation. While this book tackles it, it does not give you a side to adhere, but a perspective to consider. Again, this was important but not as important as the characters growth into maturity.
I give this book 4 stars. It seems well researched and I love how all characters achieved growth. All of the characters had real problems they all thought they couldn't conquer, but knew the only way was forward and so chose that option. I recommend it to those that enjoy contemporary stories as well as those that enjoy chick lit. I think it would work equally well for those genres.